Interested in becoming a Subaru driver, but just not sure whether you should lease or finance? We've got you covered. As one of the best Subaru dealerships in Lawrence, KS, we're offering side-by-side comparisons of the pros and cons to both leasing and buying a Subaru. Follow along below to see if you're better off financing a Subaru or leasing.

Monthly Payments

Leasing

Buying

A Subaru lease payment is almost always lower than auto loan payments because you're paying off the depreciation costs throughout the lease term (usually 24-36 months).

Subaru finance payments are usually higher than lease payments because you're paying for the entire purchase price of the vehicle over the course of a loan (usually 60-72 months).


Up-Front Costs

Leasing

Buying

Leasing a vehicle can be cheaper, up-front, than buying or financing a new car. Typically includes a down payment, taxes, vehicle registration and other small fees.

Buying a new vehicle can be more expensive than leasing one, as purchasing may include a first month's payment, security deposit, acquisition fee, down payment, and more.

Future Resale Value

Leasing

Buying

Any negative fluctuations in resale value won't affect you. However, if the value of your vehicle is more than its "buy-out" price on your lease contract, you may be able to make money by purchasing your lease and re-selling it.

Your vehicle will depreciate in value over time, although you can sell it and pocket the cash.

Interested in selling your car? Get your trade-in value.

Mileage Restrictions

Leasing

Buying

When you lease a Subaru, you'll have to stick to a certain mileage, usually 30,000-36,000 miles (36-month lease). If you go over, you'll be charged an Excess Mileage overage fee, which can range from $0.15 to $0.50 per mile. Don't go over!

You do not have any mileage restrictions. Drive as much or as little as you like.

Simplicity

Leasing

Buying

When it's time to return your Subaru lease, you have a few options, none of which are complicated:

  1.         Return and re-lease
  2.         Return and walk away
  3.         Purchase your vehicle

Owning a car means you're in charge. If you want to sell it, you have to put in the work, which can be a hassle.

Ownership

Leasing

Buying

You don't own the vehicle, though you have the option to purchase it, for an agreed-upon price, at lease-end. 

Once you've paid the balance on your auto loan, you own the vehicle, free and clear.

Reliability

Leasing

Buying

With a Subaru lease, your vehicle is always covered by a warranty. Any breakdown caused by a defect in craftmanship or component will be repaired without a penny coming out of your pocket. Simply perform routine maintenance, and your leased Subaru will serve you well.

After the initial new-vehicle warranty expires, you're responsible for all service, maintenance, and repairs throughout the course of your vehicle's life-whether or not those repairs are caused by a defect.

Safety & Technology

Leasing

Buying

Every two or three years, you can re-lease a new Subaru and get all the newest modern technology and safety features.

Your vehicle will eventually be outdated and less safe than the newest crop.

Excess Wear & Tear

Leasing

Buying

When returning your Subaru, you'll be charged for any excessive damage to the interior or exterior of your vehicle. These charges can be in the thousands if you treat your car poorly or don't get routine maintenance.

Feel free to smoke, stain the seats, scrape the paint, ding the bumper-you  own your car, you can treat it anyway you'd like. However, your car loses value with every ding and dent!

Customization

Leasing

Buying

You must return your Subaru lease in the same condition as when it was leased. This means no spoilers or aftermarket parts.

You can install or customize your vehicle to your liking.

Leasing vs. Buying: A Breakdown

Still unsure?

If you value reliability, low-cost maintenance, and simplicity over ownership and building equity, leasing a new Subaru might be best. Just be sure you can take decent care of your vehicle and don't drive more than 12,000 miles per year.

If you want the opportunity to customize your car, have access to a trustworthy mechanic near you, and want to make cash by selling it, you may want to purchase or finance. Payments may be higher in the short-term, but long-term value could make up for it.

For more information about leasing or buying a new Subaru in Lawrence, KS, contact your friends at McCarthy Subaru. We will gladly help you make a wise decision. Call us at (785) 856-7127 or visit our Lawrence Subaru store at 2101 W 29th Terrace to test drive a new Subaru model this weekend.